Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Now that all the holidays are over and spring is approaching (I think, although it's snowing right now), it's time to get busy on the new house. The shell of the house has been complete since last fall, but since we weren't ready to move yet, it has sat there waiting for us. Now the ball is rolling, and work has started on the inside. We stopped by today and noticed that the rough plumbing, the electric, the insulation, and the furnace are installed. Wallboard is ready to go up as soon as the plumbing is inspected and passes. We have chosen our floor coverings, cabinets, vanities and countertops. Of course, we upgraded on almost everything we chose, which was a great deal of fun. The first time we bought a new house, 36 years ago, we had to stick to the basics because it was all we could afford. The same thing was true when we bought our present home 29 years ago. It was a very old house in need of major renovations, and we did the renovations on the cheap, again because it was all we could afford. Now we are buying the last new house we plan to own, and we can afford to have pretty much what we want. Mind you, we don't want a great deal. We watch HGTV, and some of the things they do on there seem ridiculously expensive and unnecessary. Upgrade to us means higher quality laminate flooring and countertops, and a few extras in the cabinets.

We still need to choose our paint colors and light fixtures, and we still have a little bit of furniture to buy, but we have gotten a start on that, too. We have a new bed and nightstands, a new futon, and a new coffee table and end table already purchased and waiting. We still need a couch and recliner and some counter stools, as well as a television and table for it, and a refrigerator.

All of this shopping is such fun. I am having a ball choosing all these new things! Of course, it will be necessary to choose window treatments and new bedding, too. I just keep thinking of things to buy. Hope the kids aren't looking for too big an inheritance, because we are having such a good time spending it! :)

And, by the way, my Dad has had good news on his aneurysm and had his toe operated on to clean out his staph infection and is doing quite well, after the scare he gave us on Valentine's Day. This is only Tuesday, but so far this week is going great! We can only hope it keeps going the same way. Life is good...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

38 and Counting...

Today Terry and I have been married 38 years. That seems like such a long time when you say it out loud, and in fact, it is, but from day to day it doesn't seem that long. Of course, when I take time to think about all that has happened in the world and in our lives in the last 38 years, I realize how much time has passed. However, if I don't look in the mirror, I still feel pretty much like the same person I was then. And I still seem to see Terry as he looked then, too. I can see how everyone else ages, but it seems that we do not. :) Then again, my joints let me know how old I am!

In 38 years of marriage, we have lived in three different houses in two communities, and we are about to make it four. We have raised 3 children and seen them get married and establish their own households. We now have three grandchildren. Terry worked 30 years producing electric power and has been retired 10 years this summer. I taught or worked in schools for 22 years, spent about 8 years as a full-time wife and mom, and now I've been retired almost 3 years. We have traveled to many places (but not enough, in my opinion!). We have lived through a few life-threatening illnesses (his) and a debilitating one (mine). In spite of the fact that he is a pessimist and I am an optimist, he is a type-A while I am a type-B, and he worries while I take things as they come, our marriage is a solid one.

In the 38 years since we married, there have been many government changes and crises. We have been through 3 wars, an attack on our soil, lots of natural disasters (none of which affected us, fortunately), and a real culture change. Things that scandalized people in 1970 are not even blinked at now. When I look at some reality television, I cringe at what I see.

There have been many technological advances, too. Cable television, cell phones, personal computers, video games, microwave ovens, CD's and DVD's, iPods...the list goes on and on. I never thought we had life particularly hard, but I'll bet our kids would think we did!

Of course, some things don't change that much. Kids are still kids and will get away with what they can. Cars are fancier, but they aren't too much different in the way they run. Television and radio, while updated, aren't vastly different. We still cook on an electric stove, albeit a glass-topped one, and keep our food cold in the refrigerator. I still drink diet soft drinks, and Terry still loves iced tea.

I guess the more things change the more they stay the same. I wonder what will have changed in the next 38 years. I hope I am alive to see it. I'll only be 97, after all! Happy Anniversary to us and Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! Life is good...

Monday, February 11, 2008

What Is Kentucky's State Bird?

Three out of these four pictures feature Kentucky's state bird, no less than six pair of which visit our bird feeders every day. The cardinal is a striking bird, even more so against the backdrop of the first measurable snow we've had around here in a few years. The last picture is a mourning dove, a recent and very occasional visitor. However, it is so pretty I included it's picture along with the more showy birds.

The bird feeder still continues to fascinate us, even after a year of having it outside our window. We have added a few feeders and some suet cakes, too, as well as a thistle sock for our friends, the goldfinches. I think to date we have counted about 20 kinds of birds that have been to visit. The finches, cardinals, chickadees, and slate-colored juncos are the most frequent winter visitors, and they are here much of the time. I have taken to buying my birdseed in the twenty-five pound bags and my suet cakes by the dozen. The feeders need to be filled every 2-3 days, so it's obvious that the birds feel welcome here, in spite of a cat in residence. The cat doesn't seem to bother the birds much, probably because he gets enough of other things to eat and has lots of field space to roam around and catch rodents.

However, while the cat isn't much of a problem, the old guy saw an amazing sight out of the window a few weeks ago. The cardinals and friends were busy feeding, both from the feeder and off the ground, when a large hawk came swooping out of the sky and landed on the ground next to a cardinal, which apparently didn't notice him. Too bad because suddenly the hawk grabbed the cardinal and flew off with the poor bird in his talons. You would have thought that this would deter the birds, but it hasn't. Even though we have one less male cardinal, there seem to be plenty left out here to take his place. They are thriving, just like the U of L basketball team, which is named after them. I wonder if the birds will follow us to our new house--of course not. However, the feeders are going with us, so we will get a whole new crop of birds, maybe even some new kinds. Meanwhile, life is good....

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I Did It!

It took a while, but I finally figured out how to get the Kodak picture moved to a file that could be uploaded. Here's Doug lounging in all his glory when he got home from the hospital today. I'm sure by the time I see him tomorrow, he will be livelier. :)

He Survived!

Our son, Doug, had arthroscopic surgery today on his knee to reconstruct his ACL(anterior cruciate ligament) and have a microfracture surgery to attempt to regrow cartilage that had to be removed because it was torn. I took a picture of him with my new camera, but I cannot seem to upload pictures that are saved with the Kodak camera. So you don't get to see him looking groggy and out of it as he was when he got home. By now, several hours later, he sounds and feels more alert, but he was pretty out of it at noon. Of course, he had only come out of surgery at about 9:30, so he was doing amazingly well.

All of Doug's knee troubles started during basketball camp before his senior year in high school, about 10 1/2 years ago. He had a twisting fall which tore some cartilage and stretched the ACL. About six months later, it was still bothering him, so he had arthroscopic surgery to clean up the cartilage. He recovered quickly and didn't require any therapy. He went back to school 3 days after the surgery. Over the years, he would get an occasional twinge, and the knee would pop out of joint once in a while, but he managed to do whatever he wanted to do, and last year, he was able to do some rigorous training to try out for the fire department. He made it all the way to the last step before being eliminated for the training class. So he decided to try again this fall, and he had started the training sessions once again. However, in October, he jumped off a counter at work and landed wrong on the leg, and the knee joint finally cried out and said, "Enough already! I can't take any more of your abuse. Fix me once and for all, or I won't let you be a firefighter at all!" What could he do but go and see about getting it repaired? He decided to wait until after the holidays, and set it up for today.

As the time passed, he became more and more apprehensive, wondering what he was letting himself in for and whether he would ever be able to use the knee correctly, but today the waiting was over, and we went to the hospital very early this morning for the procedure. He was first on the list for the surgery, and it took just about as long as the doctor said it would. Now the fun begins. He will have several weeks of physical therapy and workouts at home on the continuous movement machine. He will be off work for a few months, during which he will catch up with his movie watching, I imagine. After all this work, however, the doctor assured us that his knee will be almost as good as new, and he will be able to do most anything, so he can go back to try for the next firefighter classin the fall . He'll make it yet! :)

Meanwhile, the the wait and the surgery are over, and now he can get down to the business of recovering. Life is good....